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Business-boosting holiday cocktails

Craft cocktails aren’t a new concept—cocktail lounges have been popping up everywhere over the last decade. But there’s a growing trend of craft cocktails highlighting fresh produce—specifically fruit—as a way to create a drink that’s interesting and delicious. Today, fruity cocktails aren’t the syrupy-sweet pink concoctions people are used to—they can be tart, tangy, acidic, smoky or bitter, too.

One fruit that’s making waves in the cocktail world is the blueberry. Small but mighty, this fruit lends itself well to a wide range of spirits and other cocktail bases—from champagne to bourbon, vodka to tequila and even beer.

MenuMonitor reports that instances of blueberry-flavored beers on restaurant menus have increased by 25% year-over-year, while instances of blueberry-infused Moscow Mules have increased a whopping 250% over the same period.

And it’s not just blueberries that are making waves in cocktail culture—granny smith apple, tangerine, kiwi, grapefruit and blackberry are all growing on specialty drink menus as well.

Check out how restaurants are using fruits to create unique, enticing drinks.

  • Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, based in Mullburn, New Jersey with 17 locations in six states, offers the Blueberry Mule, which combines Stoli Blueberri with fresh blueberries, mint, ginger beer and real blueberry puree.
  • The Cheesecake Factory serves an updated version of the Whiskey Smash—a drink that typically features lemon, mint, sugar and whiskey. Their version features Bulleit 95 small batch whiskey, passion fruit, Aperol, lime and lemon.
  • Offering a smoky twist is the Up In Smoke cocktail at 801 Chophouse, a six-unit chain with locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. This drink features Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Domaine de Canton, ginger liqueur, ginger beer and blueberries.
  • Pinstripes, an Italian-American bistro, bar and bowling alley with seven locations in three states, serves a drink called Gintilly Fizz. This handcrafted cocktail combines Hendricks Gin, elderflower, Hum botanical spirits, honey, white grape juice and blueberries.

This post is sponsored by The Blueberry Council

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